New Vehicle Retail Sales Make a Roaring Comeback in the Third Quarter, Edmunds Forecasts

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that the third quarter represents a positive turning point for the automotive industry despite challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Edmunds analysts forecast that 3,850,707 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S., […]

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The car shopping experts at Edmunds say that the third quarter represents a positive turning point for the automotive industry despite challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Edmunds analysts forecast that 3,850,707 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S., which reflects an 11% decrease from the third quarter of 2019 but a 30.6% increase compared to the second quarter of the year.

“Third-quarter sales make at least two things apparent: Most of the doomsday scenarios forecasted at the beginning of the pandemic fortunately did not hold true, and the American consumer stepped up to become one of the many heroes in this chapter of resilience for the automotive industry, ” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “Consistently lower interest rates encouraged new-car buyers — who were less likely to be financially hindered by the economic fallout of the pandemic — to pull the trigger on a purchase. Rising used vehicle prices also likely made the new car market more appealing for shoppers on the fence between the two. And car owners also got to leverage the extra value that trade-ins are commanding during COVID-19 to offset the cost of their next purchase.”

Although retail sales have shown positive growth, Edmunds experts note that fleet sales continue to struggle during the pandemic. Edmunds estimates that fleet transactions will account for 10.8% of total sales for the third quarter, compared to 17.2% in the third quarter of 2019 and 13.2% last quarter.

“The last piece of the puzzle for the industry’s recovery is fleet sales,” said Caldwell. “Daily rental companies have understandably reduced or delayed orders as Americans continue to stay at home rather than embark upon business or air travel. It will likely take a bit longer for this side of the business to make as dramatic a comeback as its retail counterparts.” 

QUARTERLY SALES VOLUME FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

SALES
VOLUME

2020 Q3
Forecast

Q3 2019
Sales

Q2 2020
Sales



Change from
Q3 2019

Change from
Q2 2020

GM

634,261

738,638



492,489

-14.1%

28.8%

Toyota

549,567



627,194

398,029

-12.4%

38.1%

Ford



534,290

580,251

433,869

-7.9%

23.1%



FCA

513,872

565,034

367,086

-9.1%



40.0%

Honda

394,229

429,214

293,502



-8.2%

34.3%

Hyundai/Kia

337,533

334,834



270,699

0.8%

24.7%

Nissan

220,645



327,354

177,328

-32.6%

24.4%

VW/Audi



132,550

150,578

101,605

-12.0%

30.5%



Industry

3,850,707

4,326,243

2,948,126

-11.0%



30.6%

 

QUARTERLY MARKET SHARE FORECAST, BY MANUFACTURER

Market Share

2020 Q3
Forecast



Q3 2019
Sales

Q2 2020
Sales

Change from
Q3 2019

Change from
Q2 2020

GM



16.5%

17.1%

16.7%

-3.5%

-1.4%



Toyota

14.3%

14.5%

13.5%

-1.6%



5.7%

Ford

13.9%

13.4%

14.7%



3.5%

-5.7%

FCA

13.3%

13.1%



12.5%

2.2%

7.2%

Honda

10.2%



9.9%

10.0%

3.2%

2.8%

Hyundai/Kia



8.8%

7.7%

9.2%

13.3%

-4.5%



Nissan

5.7%

7.6%

6.0%

-24.3%



-4.7%

VW/Audi

3.4%

3.5%

3.4%



-1.1%

-0.1%

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at https://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/.

About Edmunds
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America’s best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

CONTACT:
Talia James-Armand
Associate Director, PR & Communications
[email protected]
310-309-4900
https://edmunds.com/about/press

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SOURCE Edmunds

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